Ascendro Blog

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Handling large strings in PHP

We recently needed to write an algorithm to unpack a specific file from a proprietary archive format.

The fun part is that the initial task quickly transformed into a research task as our colleague Michael wanted to dig deeper in the topic. Here is the story behind the performance boost.

I never worked with binary files before in PHP so I decided to first get it working and care about optimisations later. 

My straight forward approach of using file_get_contents and normal string operations resulted in very low performing and memory hungry process.

For getting a 10kb file out of an 2MB archive the algorithm took ~1.200ms and ~14mb memory at its peak.

This had to be optimized ... and I succeeded to bring it down to 30ms and 1MB memory at its peak ...

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Software testing approach by project size

Which testing method its worth using, manual or automated? Let's just say it is entirely dependent on the project profie and size.

We are constantly looking to improve the outcome of our Quality Assurance department and because we have experience with both manual and automated testing we have put together some general ideas regarding the testing approach depending on the project profile.

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